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Oakland Police Department (OPD) is the largest municipal law enforcement agency in the Alameda county of San Francisco Bay area – with more than 750 full-time sworn officers and over 320 civilian personnel. The department is known for its diversity and empathetic approach to law enforcement. The functioning of OPD is overlooked by the Oakland Police Commission, which is also responsible for appointing a Chief of Police for the Department. Below, you can learn more about the agency, how to get through the Oakland police department test, and progress onto the academy for further specialist training.
Motto: “We Will Be There When You Need Us”
History: Established in 1853, Oakland Police Department is one of the oldest police departments in the state of California. Due to the city’s rapid expansion in the early 1850s, Oakland city council appointed John McCann as the department’s first marshal. He carried out patrols with the aid of two deputy officers and a handful of patrol officers. OPD has always been at the forefront of innovation in law enforcement. The department was one of the firsts to use patrol cars in the country when it purchased its first patrol vehicle in 1906. Since its founding, 53 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Size: Oakland Police Department covers an area of nearly 80 square miles, and is responsible for keeping close to 430,000 people safe. The city is divided into 5 geographic areas for efficient patrolling.
Headquarters: 455 7th St, Oakland, CA 94607, United States
Divisions: OPD is divided into 5 major bureaus based on the function each carries out: Bureau of Field Operations 1 and Bureau of Field Operations 2 – are responsible for patrolling the 5 areas of the city. It is the most staffed division of the department; Bureau of Investigations: carries out investigations into reported violations of state and federal laws; Bureau of Services – which is responsible for providing logistical support to the department. It also recruits new officers and provides necessary training and looks after the human resource aspects of the department. Each of these Bureaus is headed by a Deputy Chief of Police.
How to become a deputy: At present, candidates must take the OPD test which is consists of a written examination, fitness test, and an oral board interview. Every month, OPD conducts a National Testing Network (NTN) FrontLine test – which is a written test that is designed to assess candidates’ cognitive abilities and core competencies in areas of communication, problem-solving and logical reasoning. The department also accepts PELLETB-test results issued by an authorized POST-certified test provider. The physical ability test (PAT) comprises of 5 events that must be completed within 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The 5 events are: running through a cone maze, climbing a 5-foot fence, jumping into a 4-foot ditch, stair climbing, and simulation of entering through a window, dragging a dummy past the previously mentioned cone maze. Each of these events can be attempted 3 times. There is also an additional handcuff simulation test which must be completed in 30 seconds and can be attempted up to 3 times.
Average salary: $62,400-$66,800 annually, rising with an increase in experience and position.
Police academy: Candidates who successfully pass the California Oakland Police Department test must attend a 27-week intensive training program at the Oakland Police Department Academy. The training is POST certified and is a paid program. The training is both theoretical and practical, with more than 40 hours of instruction every week. Recruits are trained in the areas of operation of firearms, techniques to be followed while arresting, operation of patrol vehicles, first-aid, community relations and criminal law.
Registration: More details on the Oakland police exam can be found on their website. Competition for places within Oakland department is high and only the best candidates will be enlisted into the California police academy.
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